Cyclists riding bikes along the water in Warren County NY

Bike Bells for Cyclists & Walkers

Multiuse paths like the Warren County Bikeway are used by walkers, runners, & cyclists of all levels.  Using a bell helps inform a path user when they are being passed.  Here are some guidelines for all path users on bell usage.  The goal is to make the path safe and pleasurable for everyone.


  • Bell sounds typically travel farther than voice. Try ringing the bell at twice the distance you would normally use to call out “On your left”. Experiment with a good distance. If a Pedestrian is startled, then try ringing at a greater distance. Your cycling behavior should never frighten slower path users as you go past them.
  • When in voice range optionally call out “On your left”.
  • Look for earbuds. Pedestrians (walkers & runners) with earbuds may not have heard the signal.
  • Look for small children and dogs who are more likely to suddenly move into the passing area.
  • Slow down as needed to pass when it is safe to do so.
  • Pass wide in case the pedestrian suddenly changes direction.
  • Smile and say, “Thank You!” when passing.


  • Walk on the right side of the path. This is different from a road where pedestrians walk on the left, against traffic.
  • Listen for a bell.
  • Give a hand wave or some other signal acknowledging that you are aware of the cyclist passing.
  • Be predictable, do not suddenly move to the left.
  • If occupying the center area of the path, consider moving slightly to the right.
  • Keep dogs on a short leash and out of the passing area (BTW: Dogs are not allowed on the Warren County Bikeway).
  • When moving to the left, first look back to see that it is safe to do so.
  • Consider only using one earbud to better hear oncoming signals.


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